ELY, Nevada — Scott Dozier is scheduled to become the first death row inmate in the United States to be executed with the synthetic opioid fentanyl on Wednesday, and he’s fine with that.
“I think it’s awesome. I mean, it’s killing people all over the place,” the convicted murderer said of the drug, in an exclusive interview with VICE News from Ely State Prison in Nevada. “You guys get pharmaceutical grade fentanyl and just bang me up man. Use a shit ton.”
The state of Nevada opted to execute Dozier using a combination of fentanyl, the sedative midazolam, and the paralytic cisatracurium, in part due to a nationwide shortage of lethal injection drugs caused by drug manufacturers and distributors refusal to allow their products to be used in state executions. It’s technically the cisatracurium, not the fentanyl, that will stop Dozier’s ability to breathe.
Normally, such an untested drug protocol would probably give Dozier’s lawyers an easy angle for appeal. But Dozier — who was convicted of killing a 22-year-old alleged associate named Jeremiah Miller in 2007, and of another murder in Arizona — has dropped his appeals.
Among death row lawyers, inmates like Dozier are known as “volunteers.”
The alleged maker of the sedative midazolam filed a last-ditch challenge to the execution Tuesday, accusing the Nevada Department of Corrections of using deception to acquire the drug. A Nevada judge will rule Wednesday on that challenge, but Dozier is planning for his life to end.
“I’m wholly counting on not missing anything,” he said. “Like the one thing I'm expecting from this is to be wholly unconcerned with this plane of existence. So if I’m missing something still, I’m going to be either bummed out or super-pissed.”
This segment originally aired July 10, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.